Story by Baily Mesch
Auraria campus has more parking options for students and faculty this semester. With an adjustment in lot prices and the addition of the new Parking Passport System, commuters will find parking to be easier and more affordable.
In the past, parking on campus has led to long lines to enter lots or prices that were higher than most would want to pay. Now, commuters are able to choose from a number of different lots, prices and permits.
“Parking on campus has never been a big problem for me,” said MSU Denver graduate Emily Stanczyk. “There are so many different places to park on campus with all sorts of different prices. I [could] always find a place that works if I’m going to be on campus all day or only for a little bit.”
Parking on campus is controlled by the Auraria Higher Education Center. There are 17 parking lots, two multi-story parking garages and surrounding street parking. This semester, the Tivoli Garage price changed, allowing both hourly parking and a flat rate fee of $6.
“Initially, the price in the Tivoli Garage was left over from the old Tivoli Lot,” said AHEC manager Dave Berry. “The price was dropped to encourage customers that may try to park in the Redwood Lot to consider the Tivoli Garage since [the Redwood Lot] will not be available past this semester due to the new building being built by UCD.” According to Berry, the lines at the Redwood Lot have been eliminated and the Tivoli Garage is now being heavily used.
Lot prices are not the only changes made to the parking system at Auraria. A new permit system has also been implemented. The Parking Passport System is also now available to all commuters.
The Passport System offers permits for discounted lot rates and in and out privileges. Bronze, Silver and Gold permits are available through this system; each offering discounts at specific lots. Bronze applies to all lots west of 5th Street, Silver for all lots west of 7th Street and the Gold permit applies to all lots on campus.
“The Passport program was driven by a desire to give customers an option to have to pay on a daily basis,” Berry said. “There are customers that either didn’t want the permit option due to location or the lot sold out previously and we only had so much space in each permit lot.” Parking Passport options begin at $170.
With the money invested in the Passport system and the amount collected through lot fees, AHEC uses the finances to keep the parking system at Auraria running smoothly.
“Parking is not a for-profit enterprise,” Berry said. “All revenues are used to maintain the current parking system with customer service, lot maintenance, parking structure maintenance, updated equipment and existing debt service for the parking structures.”
Pricing and permit options aren’t the only changes that campus parking will see this school year. Some physical changes will be made to the layout of the campus as well. Beginning in January, construction will begin that will eliminate two existing lots on campus. The Redwood Lot will be replaced with a new building for UCD, and the Cottonwood Lot will become a new set of tennis courts.